The Power of Three

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Carla Vincent
Manchester, Conn. – (May 28, 2010) . . . Bad things come in threes, or so they say, and such has been the case for Carla Vincent. Consider that she went to prison after being caught driving drunk three times. Or that she found herself unemployed three times; twice, when companies she worked for closed down and another time when she was laid off. Ah, but good things come in threes as well, something Vincent proved Thursday when she participated in the 46th commencement ceremony at Manchester Community College, capping a remarkable personal rehabilitation by leaving with three separate associate degrees.

“There were times I thought, I can’t do this,” said Vincent, 45, of Manchester, who had been away from school for 25 years when she enrolled at MCC in 2007. “But the people here kept saying, ‘You can do it,’ and I stuck with it.”

Vincent spent her MCC years immersed in classes offered by the Business Office Technology program, and says staff members in that department gave her crucial support and encouragement. But Carla Adams, instructor of Business Office Technology, who had Vincent in two of her advanced-level classes, said it is Vincent who deserves the credit. “She completed high quality work in both classes and was conscientious with every assignment, project, quiz and exam,” Adams said, adding that Vincent “has served as a positive role model to other students.”

Case in point: Adams said Vincent never missed a class even walking to campus on days when she had transportation problems. “I am proud to have played a part in her education at MCC and look forward to hearing about her future,” Adams said. “She is truly amazing.”

Vincent was born in Springfield and moved to East Windsor as a teenager. She was married briefly after graduating from high school, and had a daughter, and worked in a series of data entry jobs. She said she was also a binge drinker, and her three DUI arrests sent her to the women’s prison in Niantic in 2002. That was a wakeup call, Vincent said.

When she got out, things didn’t get better, as her brother and father both died of heart-related problems and an aunt died of pancreatic cancer. That’s when Vincent - whose daughter has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree - decided that education might help her change direction in life. She first took an on-line course in medical terminology- something that seemed practical- because she had frequently been confused while talking to doctors on behalf of her relatives. Her appetite whetted, she then enrolled at MCC in a program to earn certification as a medical transcriptionist. With each class, she became more excited about school. “I just loved it,” she said. “I didn’t want to stop.”

Vincent’s resume is now a crowded one. Her three associate degrees are in different types of administration (medical, office and legal), and she has earned both medical transcriptionist certification and office support specialist certification. Her grade-point average? An impressive 3.89.

As Adams puts it, “Vincent is the complete package in terms of employability skills.”
As it so happens, Vincent works out of her apartment as a medical transcriptionist, but is looking for a new job. She’s also planning to continue her education, probably at Central Connecticut State University so she can earn a bachelor’s degree. “I don’t know exactly what I want to study there,” she said. “I just know that I love to learn, and I plan to keep going.”

Story written by Jim Farrell.

Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The College offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. MCC is situated on a park-like campus and is easily accessible from I-84.

News Item Posted On: May 28, 2010
For Additional Information Contact: Endia DeCordova-Murphy at (860) 512-2914